Helping Invisible Children become a little bit more noticeable

Five minutes.

That’s it.

That’s all it took.

Five minutes.

On Wednesday afternoon, a group of over 120 students gathered on the University Green and made a difference.

“I overheard that this event was going on, and it piqued my interest,” senior Peter Allen said. “I like to involve myself in organizations like these, which devote themselves to a cause. And, honestly, things like this take only a little bit of time but make a big impact.”

“Focus on Uganda,” an event co-sponsored by Invisible Children and the African Students Union, strived to create awareness about the child soldier issue in Uganda, where children are being abducted and forced to carry arms for a rebel cause.

“I heard about the event through an e-mail sent out by the United Black Students,” freshman Jackie Sims said. “I am big on Africa and creating awareness about what is happening there. It seems that the U.S. and the world do not do enough for the various issues in Africa. It makes me happy that we are doing something here on campus.”

The event focused on taking a photograph from on top of the Richter Library of students and faculty members standing in the shape of Africa, with a “U,” again out of people, standing over Uganda.

“I think this was a great idea to get people involved and create awareness,” senior Nicole Budzinski said. “An event like this encourages people to take notice.”

There seems to be no doubt that students are taking notice of Invisible Children and the cause they represent. For an organization that had a very minute member base last year, this organization has made a major impact on campus this year.

“Yes, I know about Invisible Children,” senior Mike Sanchez said. “I feel that just about everyone does. They have had a few screenings and some meetings, aside from the general awareness they are spreading through their patches.”

The goal of the organization is to raise awareness and raise funds to address the child soldier problem in Uganda. To this end, the organization is involved in a program known as Schools for Schools.

“Our organization is paired with a school in Uganda,” said junior Chelsea Werner, the vice president of Invisible Children. “What we do is raise funds, and all the funds we raise go toward our [partner]school. By doing this, we are providing children in Uganda the opportunity to go to school and have books and other such necessities. In this way, we can attempt to keep these children away from being abducted and forced to carry arms.”

Wednesday’s event was yet another step forward for the organization, as it satisfied both goals the organization has. The event helped in their effort to raise awareness, and it afforded them the opportunity to raise funds for their Schools for Schools program, as Invisible Children plans to sell copies of the pictures they took.

“Overall, I think the event was very successful,” Werner said. “Besides being successful based on the sheer numbers that came out, the event was a success because the people who came out cared. It is nice to see people who are aware of the issues and genuinely care for them.”

October 29, 2008


Pravin Patel

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